April 23 – Failed

The Lord was with the people of Judah, and they took possession of the hill country. But they failed…
The tribe of Benjamin, however, failed…
The tribe of Manasseh failed…
The tribe of Ephraim failed…
The tribe of Asher failed…
Likewise, the tribe of Naphtali failed…
As for the tribe of Dan… [they never even got started]

Read: Judges 1:1-2:9, Luke 21:29-22:13, Psalm 90:1-91:16, Proverbs 13:24-25 

Relate: Last night I finished up a biography on Anne of Neville. That makes it 33 books I have read and reviewed so far this year. I am one-third of my way to my goal and I am three books ahead of schedule. I am doing really well with that New Year’s resolution. Now about those others…

There is one resolution that almost made it all the way through January. Another that I do in starts or stops. It is a daily thing and I will get back to it and go strong for a few days, maybe as long as a week. Then, two or three weeks later I will pick it back up and try again for a day or three. There is another “by the end of the year” goal that can easily be broken into ten parts. I am well more than halfway finished with the first. I’ll let you do the math as to how close I am to being on pace. There is a saying, “If you shoot for the moon, you will land among the stars. If you shoot for the stars, you will land on the roof. If you shoot for the roof, you will land on the fence. If you shoot for the fence, you will never get off the ground.”

I feel like I shot for the stars and then, once I made it as far as the roof I simply stopped and shrugged. Oh well, there’s a pretty good view from here. Besides, look at how high I got. The stars are calling me onward but I am just content with a little progress and a great view.

React: I can imagine that this is about the same attitude that the people of Israel had with regards to the Promised Land. Well, we made a good start of it. We got here, we’ve arrived, and we cleared out the easy bits. Yes, there’s definitely more we should have done. There’s more we should be doing right now. But what a great view we have up here in these mountains. There is nothing that gets the mind going like a good rationalization for why it is time to quit when things start to get tough. It is easy to put a good spin on your failure. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a failure.

The Bible doesn’t mince words. Judah failed. Benjamin failed. Manasseh failed. Ephraim failed. Asher failed. Nephtali failed. Dan failed. I am well on my way towards failure. Fortunately, there are more than eight months to go. I don’t have to be content to just quit on the rooftop or in the mountains. There is plenty of time for a relaunch. There are plenty of opportunities to clear out those valleys. I am a third of the way in but it is no time to quit or give up.

What about you? Are you on your way to those stars? Have you settled down to a job half finished? Or have you never yet left the ground? When things are all said and done, don’t let your name join those here in Judges chapter one.

Respond:

 

Dear Lord,
I want to waste it all on You. God, I want to give everything I have, and everything I will have tomorrow and the next day, towards pursuing You and what You have called me to do. Don’t let me stop halfway. Don’t let me be content to just be a little better off than I was before. When things get hard, help me to knuckle down and even pick up the pace on those tough uphill climbs. When I cross that finish line I don’t want there to be anything left in the tank. I want to have poured it all out for You. Help me to pour out all I have today.
Amen                                                     

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8 thoughts on “April 23 – Failed

  1. Wow – great post! It’s so true that we have a tendency to create high ideals, then fall short of those ideals, and then simply make excuses that “at least we tried”. Something is better than nothing. Or is it? There are times in Scripture where God makes it sound like He’d rather have our all or nothing – not a little something in between.

    Yes, we may stumble & fail. But we shouldn’t be content with & make excuses for our failure. If we do, then our failure is becoming intentional, rather than just a stumble from which we quickly recover.

    We need to press on, press on, press on! Run the race to the finish – don’t just drop out 3/4 of the way and then pride yourself you did more than most people!

  2. What a great post. Thank you for sharing the “truth”. It is easy to quit before I am finished. I used to want to do that while in cross-country in high school. But I would look at the finish line and press forward…maybe last…but forward. Your prayer touched my heart. I WANT to do the things God has called me to and press on. I am sure it wasn’t easy for those that went before us and paved the way. How important it is to encourage one another and that is just what this was for me today. Thank you.

  3. We can become amazed as to what God calls provisions along the way, and yet the promises are still far away…I have an idea, let’s enjoy what we have now while we can. This is where we can become too content with our new found blessings, and lose sight of the promise.

  4. I never make New Years Resolutions because they tend to set me up to fail. Every year, over and over. After awhile, I realized it just made me miserable. So I set goals all year long, at odd times, over small things. Eventually I reach my real goal, but it is less painful, less stressful, and I am happier as I get things done. As I age, 63 now, I care less about big goals and more about the daily goals of living another day, loving another minute, and being joyous every possible second. Breathe, love yourself, and realize that your days are finite, you can’t go back and reclaim them. Oh, that sounds like a good intro for a new blog! Thanks for the idea!
    Karron

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